Consider This…

Written by BG Howard

June 6, 2024

When powering on the television to catch up on the status of society, one is usually greeted by the latest “Breaking News.”  Logging onto the internet immediately connects a person to an unlimited list of noteworthy details from virtually every country in the world at the stroke of a few keys.  There’s no longer a requirement to wait for the scheduled airing of news programs these days as networks are now available that are dedicated exclusively to reporting today’s events as they happen.

Granted; there seems to be more than enough bad news to go around as ninety-five percent of stories reported can be categorized using two words:  gloom and doom.  Headline reports are mostly tales about some sort of tragedy or catastrophic event which will prompt viewers to tune in for the broadcast, search the internet or pick up a newspaper. 

The late Mr. Max Gardner, of Baxley News-Banner notoriety, once related that “News doesn’t sell newspapers; controversy does.”  With that in mind, one can begin to somewhat understand the tidal wave of negativity which appears to have inundated the networks, airwaves, and publications designed to bring us footage about the world’s activities.

As previously stated, there definitely is no lack of trouble or chaos around the world on any given day.  It’s not to suggest people don’t need to be aware of what’s happening in the local, national, and international arenas but one has to question; is it really necessary to consistently report the same unfortunate incidents for days on end? 

Coverage of some depictions of tragic events have persisted in the various media outlets for days without it being possible to turn on a television, radio, computer or pick up a magazine that wasn’t featuring the latest “need to know” information.  That’s certainly not to suggest people be left ignorant of what happens on a daily basis but what about realistic documentation of positive facts?  To watch two or three hours of news reports would have a person believing that nothing good ever happens in the world anymore. 

People are so focused on the next “traumatic” event qualifying as “breaking news” that they have a tendency to lose sight of life’s simple pleasures.  There was a time when things like a neighborhood coming together for the sake of providing aid or assistance to a family in need would be noteworthy.  People making themselves available to do for others used to be a remarkable thing but all the calamity in today’s society has everyone de-sensitized to anything short of blood and guts.

To think, in the social order of today, a news organization that reported only good news would probably not even be allowed on the air.  And if it was able to be organized, the ratings would be so low the program couldn’t remain in the network’s broadcast line-up.  People now turn on the news expressly to see reports of something negative.  It’s as though our society is not interested in seeing or hearing about anything that doesn’t prompt a startling reaction. 

Unfortunately, a television show’s ratings are what keep it on the air and news programs aren’t much different.  There are so many of them simply because they all report pretty much the same thing so that enables everybody to get a piece of the financial pie.  The tug is so strong that many news shows have begun to invoke segments of content that is more “entertaining.” Perhaps, if the focus was taken off reports of bad news and placed solely on the positive aspects of life there could possibly be a renaissance of sort concerning charity toward others.  Maybe individuals, by seeing the effects of positivism, would be inspired to emulate those actions which just might become contagious and ultimately change the world’s outlook.  It does sound rather far-fetched and, in truth, highly improbable but merely thinking of the difference provides a glimmer of hope.  I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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